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India

India

CONVENTIONAL ENERGY SUBSIDIES GROW

According to India's official Economic Survey hidden energy subsidies in the domestic and agricultural sectors will more than double to INR 153 billion in 1996-97, up from INR 75 billion in 1995-96. The recently released survey also predicts that the commercial losses of the State Electricity Boards (SEBs) will increase to about INR 10.9 billion this year from INR 7.5 billion in the previous year. The past year saw a negligible growth in new generating capacity, according to the survey. A target of 1234 MW had been set for the April-December period, but only 510 MW was added. The 50% shortfall has increased the country's power deficit considerably. The survey suggests a rationalisation of electricity prices and commercialisation of operations to make the SEBs viable.

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